Recent Seattle restaurant reviews

My next reviews are in the Seattle Frelard, Ballard and Eastlake neighborhoods, where I mostly frequent, and get to via bike easily. (I also wrote this post prior to Mr. F making dinner…so I was hungry…)

Tarsen I Jane

13198454_783543750362_6424228620012600562_o We went less than a month ago within a week of their opening night. They had awesome presentation, tasty bites (literally), and a cool atmosphere. We love their Spanish wine selection. The chefs are present in the open kitchen and friendly. However, I wish I had been brave enough to tell them that their food is way too expensive for the amount they serve, and that they need more than 5 bites in each dish, especially when it’s deemed an entree. Hopefully, the quantity to price point won’t put them under too quickly. They really pushed the tasting menu as the best deal, which we declined since we wanted little to no grain and the main entree was their paella. Overall, I’d go back if they increased their portions.

(This is right next to Frelard Pizza on NW Leary, which is loud and very child friendly. I prefer Ballard Pizza Company, which is the same restaurant group, but this space is more intimate and the pizza is better cooked. They also have a new location in South Lake Union.)

Marine Hardware

13340111_786261314342_8284043810648416068_o This is a perfect date night spot. Marine Hardware shares the building with the Walrus & Carpenter, Barnacle, and Staple & Fancy. This new Ethan Stowell concept was a small space but it worked. They had cool 90s hits playing and every course of the tasting menu was tailored to our preferences. We loved their steak tartare almost as much as the Walrus & Carpenter’s next door. As I mentioned on my Instagram, I’m still drooling over the classic preparation with celery puree. I can’t wait to go back soon and try more of their dishes! 13308618_786339362932_7153069358778640991_o

Sushi Kappo Temura

13391545_786718044052_3708864163352142685_o The healthy Japanese brunch options are our favorite for chill Saturday and Sunday mornings. Mr F loves their sashimi and I love the non-rice fish selections too. We enjoy going here for dinner or brunch, but sometimes forget to go, since it’s not within easy walking distance of our house. It’s also a large restaurant and centrally located.

My most loved restaurant still remains, La Isla. We’re there almost every week. Mr. F and I enjoy getting the camerones during happy hour and I also like getting the pina colada. 13147761_782742580912_1018508227466323576_o My absolute favorite meal is the pernil pastleon, which is basically a healthier lasagna with plantains and Ma’s Lil’ peppers. We usually ask for the en Fuego sauce to accompany the garlic sauce too! It’s a perfect compliment to the cheese and pork.   11225414_755721815742_595450579947374705_o If I could only have one meal for the rest of my life, it would be the pernil pastelon!

Two more favorite restaurants in Lahaina

Beware, this post may make you hungry!

Shark Pit and Honu Seafood and Pizza are my favorite restaurants in Lahaina.

A week ago Saturday, the snorkeling visibility was low and the surf was high, so after a morning of body surfing, we had an awesome lunch at Shark Pit. The love of this restaurant started when we were last on Maui, two years ago, and happened to sit next to a guy at the counter of Star Noodle. Over pork belly and eggs, he told us he had a food truck called the Shark Pit and that it was parked in Ka’anapali. We enjoyed it so much, that we ate there three more times, on our last trip. They now have a restaurant, off of Front Street, next to the Jamba Juice and still have all their amazing classic dishes.

12491803_764930955552_8120590070102945847_o To start off, one of my favorite dishes is the corn on the cob with dried seaweed, sesame seeds and sriracha. 10400538_764932547362_7771561891353458979_n The purple taro buns add a special Hawaiian flair to an excellently executed bacon, blue cheese burger, with rice topped with Portuguese sausage and dried seaweed. 1919138_764932946562_8536418218920647752_n The funked up fish tacos are a great balance of sweet and savory and so delicious. We always split the tacos and get a burger each, so we don’t have to share anything!

We spent that afternoon reading by the beach before going to Honu Seafood and Pizza. It was close to sunset and we enjoyed image  ahi poke with avocado whip, image ahi sausage pizza, while watching the sun dip below Lana’i. image1237591_764970705892_4088057351078942804_n To top off an amazing meal, we decided to try the waitress’ favorite dessert, image peanut butter mousse and the turtle cheesecake. image It was all so amazing that we ate everything and waddled back to Lahaina Shores. Bonus: Honu Seafood and Pizza is a mile and a half from Lahaina Shores and it’s a lovely walk all along Front Street.

 

Our favorite snorkel spots on Maui!

1917408_764823211472_243581526805971777_n Our ultimate favorite snorkel spot on Maui is the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. It’s basically the end of the road after the gorgeous Wailea and Makena resorts.  644615_764822956982_4876008482502033955_n I was introduced to it by my biology and zoology teachers in high school on a school trip. My favorite launch point has a shallow entry that drops quickly to a sandy bottom and lots of coral. There’s now a parking lot a few minutes away between this spot and Dumps. 1526144_764820192522_8761385384739977754_n The first day we went snorkeling at Ahihi, we saw another honu and got more close ups. 1919026_764823041812_68554064804544243_n 12241241_764823071752_2370804821082451152_n (1)

For lunch, image we love going to Monkeypod in Wailea. 1557447_764869329052_2330843914151341_n We even went twice this trip. 8150_764869354002_4118961113282639745_n The Ahi taco appetizer is one of our favorite dishes. Apparently all the fish is caught the same day as they serve it! image The grass fed Maui beef is pretty tasty too!

In the afternoon of New Year’s Day, we also went to our other favorite snorkel spot, Dumps, and discovered Secret Beach about half a mile from Ahihi. 1147_764869972762_6056896200371495646_n10262013_764870371962_8676707995925868673_n

Secret Beach was mostly locals and very chill. 1003240_764870307092_4576518023680703189_n We enjoyed swimming and reading on the beach until dinner time. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (We even saw a cute puppy frolicking in the waves!)

For dinner, we went to Migrant 1468506_764870731242_8916739448073059693_n (the sister restaurant of Star Noodle) 1474400_764870756192_4284804510083073795_n 10505523_764870761182_4657720729282235146_n and had the best meal of our entire trip. 580335_764870801102_8774663777356825558_n 735216_764870841022_6114500262386176924_n (1) We loved the extra hot garlic noodles, french onion noodles, and Ahi Avo. 10348605_764870796112_3367016298840102825_n The short ribs were great too.10881_764870836032_4119824822090114265_n The sunsets from the Migrant are pretty spectacular too! image Next time we visit Maui, I’d like to get a condo in Wailea or Makena for a few days, just so we’re closer to our favorite snorkeling, Monkeypod and the Migrant.

Lahaina Shores is my favorite place to stay on Maui!

We’ve always loved Lahaina for the proximity to great snorkeling and our favorite restaurants, 1610046_764579285302_2999214279086208752_n Star Noodle, Mala Ocean Tavern and Honu Seafood and Pizza.

This trip we tried a new place (to us), plus Lahaina Shores had come recommended by my grandfather when he stayed there in the 70s! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA It also has a prominent location on the beach, south of Front St (the busiest street in Lahaina) and has distinctive white railings on all the decks. We checked into our mountain view room on the afternoon of the 29th and 10403190_764579435002_6056478298802657018_n immediately went snorkeling, Kahekili Beach Park, 5881_764579474922_8628942805348521480_n which is north of Black Rock and Ka’anapali.   1165_764579659552_3231240500652051731_n The visibility was awesome and we got some great photos! 21490_764579699472_8627067093157407787_n

Our first night in Lahaina, we went to Star Noodle, of course, and stuffed ourselves with Ahi Avo,  1525442_764579864142_103186922204517128_n the amazing steam pork buns, 12376563_764579894082_4728148682129937852_n  and several noodle dishes that I forgot to take pictures of because they were so awesome. 1487366_764652463652_4104779979269570813_n The morning view from our condo lanai was stunning, so we made smoothies every morning to maximize our enjoyment of the mountains! Our second morning (New Year’s Eve) in Lahaina was spent snorkeling at Black Rock, where we saw a few more honus, 225624_764714309712_8944072987597792360_n cool reef and angel fish! 10411876_764714449432_7817239489003677059_n For lunch we went to Gazebo, in Napili, and stood in line for almost an hour since it’s so popular! Mr. F went swimming while I chatted with a few nice people in line. Once we were finally seated, we got Portuguese sausage and veggie omelettes 1012155_764714708912_6730948230766607408_n with a side of papaya! 10168017_764714659012_8168090248850965316_n For our New Year’s Eve dinner, we went to Mala Ocean Tavern, 943864_764804838292_4338421083527600609_n where we had snapper and wonderful local veggies. 10401_764804992982_5421409653147312645_n On New Year’s Day, after our pineapple smoothies on the lanai, we drove to our favorite snorkel spots past Wailea and Makena!

Our first 24 hours on Maui, in Pa’ia!

Two weeks ago, we left rainy 49 degree weather in Seattle for the fabulously sunny, upper 70s of Maui. Our first afternoon in paradise was spent in Pa’ia, where we had a cool surf lodge (studio cottage) 1937436_764389605422_4114944892274824790_n found on VRBO that was within walking distance to the ocean 1936536_764411761022_8968376059692293051_n and Mama’s Fish House. Before dinner, we had a nice long walk on the beach, a quick swim and we saw huge sleeping turtles 1379799_764412065412_5190773604144310922_n (or honus, in Hawaiian)! 1924247_764412150242_4030683034170423249_n We love the view from Mama’s Fish House,7479_764412195152_3912291326019092328_n the service is excellent and the fish is superb, 1425565_764412250042_6752773576706132425_n however, it is incredibly touristy and pretty expensive. 10505501_764412289962_9163668318510046792_n Regardless, it was a great first night on the island.   1614260_764514944242_9096573911801526460_o We woke up on our first morning to a passing downpour, which sounded amazing on the tin roof and by the time, we had our coffee and papayas 10399415_764571266372_793668976925285437_n 2979_764571276352_3548203225440450347_n on the porch, the rain was gone and rainbows were everywhere!12469411_765306433092_8803533568783866186_o We enjoyed another long walk on the beach, wandering through Pai’a town, and had lunch at Flatbread Pizza Company, which had the most amazing fresh kula greens salad and avocado! 947023_764571446012_8432909121977277944_nNext up, our week in Lahaina!

Christmas catch up

It’s amazing that it’s already 2016 and that it’s been a few weeks since Christmas. We just took the Christmas tree down yesterday and the cats were sad to lose their new hiding spot. image We celebrated Christmas day at my parents house, image along with my grandparents, Aunt, Uncle and cousin. Mr. F and I saw Star Wars the weekend after Christmas and it was as amazing as we hoped!  image I love how there were so many tie ins to the original episodes! image Later that weekend, we noticed that one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, Revel, had an awesome Darth Vader painting on the wall too! image

I’m loving my new yoga pants that I got for Christmas from my sisters image and in laws. image Three days after Christmas, we left on vacation to Maui!!! I can’t wait to tell you more in my next posts!

Four more days until Christmas, Eight Days until Maui!

The tree is up and all my presents have been wrapped, including the white elephant presents for Christmas Eve at my uncle’s with approximately 30 people!

12356939_762159803962_3015880385764412270_o

Last week, my sisters and I started a new tradition of going to see a musical together at Christmas. This year, we saw Sound of Music.

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I have one more work trip to Santa Monica before the holiday but otherwise, I’m in holiday mode.

My parents are coming over for dinner tonight. Mr. F is making tomato, red pepper and fennel soup and pernil (Puerto Rican style braised pork shoulder). I’ll share pictures soon. For now……

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas day
That’s the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun will shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way
To say Merry Christmas to you

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas day
That’s the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun will shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way
To say Merry Christmas to you

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun will shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way
To say Merry Christmas to you

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas day
That’s the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun will shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way
To say Merry Christmas
A very Merry Christmas
A very, very, Merry,Merry Christmas to you

Read more: Bing Crosby – Mele Kalikimaka Lyrics | MetroLyrics